Art Expo Best in Show features prints of apocalypse

Ryan Morris

Junior studio art major Emily Rapp (second from left) receives Best in Show and a travel scholarship for printmaking awarded by Vice Chancellor of Student Development Cindy Wallace (left) at the Art Expo awards ceremony Friday at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.  Maggie Boutwell  |  The Appalachian
Junior Emily Rapp won Best in Show in Art Expo 2013 with her mixed-media piece titled “This is Only the End.”

“This Is Only The End” is the final piece in a body of work Rapp created depicting the apocalypse and its vibrant presence in everyday life. 

“I became fascinated with the common obsession in our own demise,” said Rapp, a studio art major. “In the artwork, though, I wanted to create a more humorous and self-deprecating reaction despite the apocalypse’s morose sentiments.”

In addition to her award for Best in Show at the Art Expo awards ceremony, she also received a travel scholarship for printmaking art students.

“I once received a Scholastics medal for drawing in high school, but definitely have never been awarded anything like this,” she said.

Printmaking is the most common medium Rapp uses for her work. To create “This Is Only the End,” she printed cuts of linoleum, woodcuts and lithographs on a variety of papers.

“Growing to understand the nature of printmaking has definitely played a large role in how I experiment,” she said.

Rapp said the richness of prints and tattoo imagery is what attracted her to printmaking initially.

“The celebratory color pallets and patterned compositions of traditional Turkish paintings have also influenced me over time,” she said.

Rapp became interested in art after entering Northwest School of the Arts, a magnet school in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public school system, but she never saw it as her future career until recently.

“There was no real definitive moment that I thought, ‘Aha, I want to be an artist,’” she said.  “It was sort of just an interest that morphed into an obsession.”

The Art Expo 2013 reception and awards ceremony was held Friday in the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.

First place went to Randall Dameron for his digital collage “Imaginarium,” second place went to senior art major Brittney Caudle for her piece “My Life in Cuba on a Clothesline” and third place was awarded to senior art major Emily Smith for her clay creation “Rebirth Through Fire.”  

Junior art major Gena Murfin won People’s Choice for “Astriction,” a piece she made out of cast bronze, chain and wood.

The award winners received gift bags that included gift certificates to Art Mart. Two students, sophomore Chelsea Marqueda and senior Rachel Kirk also received purchase awards, meaning their pieces would be bought by the university and placed in  Plemmons Student Union.

The entire Art Expo exhibit is on display in the Turchin Center until March 16. Rapp’s piece is currently hanging in the Mayer Gallery.

Story: EMMA SPECKMAN, A&E Reporter

Photo: MAGGIE BOUTWELL, Intern Photographer